CQC fees 'could threathen the viability of practices'

The GPC opposes practices paying to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) because it fears fees of thousands of pounds could threaten their viability.

GP revealed in October that practices would be charged an annual fee to fund the cost of registration with the CQC from 2012. From April 2011, GP practices, alongside all other health and social care organisations, will be required to meet 16 essential standards of quality and safety as part of the CQC's registration system.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: 'We were asked for our views and we made it clear that we are determined that GPs and practices will not have to pay because it may affect viability.

'Primary care organisations should pay. We are subcontractors to the NHS. It would be like asking laboratory services in hospitals, which subcontract their work, to pay.'

Writing in GP in November, Baroness Barbara Young, CQC chairman, said: 'We understand the needs of small enterprises and we will be careful to ensure that any fees we apply to GPs are proportionate.'

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